Get to Know Immunoglobulins: IgA, IgM, IgG, IgE, IgD

  • Many people can't read some of the symbols in the immunoglobulin test and have no idea what they mean or the significance and role of these tests. In fact, immunoglobulins are a class of proteins with antibody activity in human serum and body fluids. It has the function of anti-bacteria, anti-virus and can strengthen the phagocytosis of cells; they can also kill or lyse pathogenic microorganisms with the synergy of complement.

    Immunoglobulins are an important component of the body's resistance to disease, so it is of great importance to do such tests. This article will unravel the mystery of different kinds of immunoglobulins.

    IgG accounts for 75% of total immunoglobulins and is the most persistent and important antibody in the primary immune response. Most antimicrobial, anti-toxic and antiviral antibodies belong to IgG and play a major role in infection by promoting phagocytosis by mononuclear macrophages, neutralizing bacterial toxins, and binding to viruses to render them incapable of infecting host cells (which is also called neutralizing viruses).

    There are two types of IgA antibodies: serotypes and secretory types. Serotype IgA can be the role of conditioning antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), and secretory IgA is the main component of the body's mucosal defense system and the first line of defense against pathogens invading the body, which can inhibit microbial re-adherence to the respiratory epithelium, slow down viral reproduction, and can act as antibodies against certain viruses, bacteria and general antigens, and is the first line of defense against pathogens invading the body.

    IgM is the first immunoglobulin produced in the immune response induced by antigenic stimulation, which can bind complement and is mainly distributed in the serum. Since IgM has a high binding value, its bactericidal, bacteriolytic, pro-phagocytic and agglutinating effects are 500-1000 times higher than IgG, and IgM plays an important role in the early defense of the body.

    IgD is present in low levels in serum, accounting for about 1% of the total immunoglobulins, and its levels vary greatly among individuals. It can be present on the surface of B cells as a membrane receptor, and some studies suggest that IgD may be involved in initiating antibody production by B cells.

    IgE is a secretory immunoglobulin, the main antibody causing type I metaplasia, and the most heat-unstable of the immunoglobulins. Among the five immunoglobulins, IgE antibodies have the shortest half-life, the highest rate of catabolism and the lowest rate of synthesis, and are therefore the least abundant in serum.

    Among them, IgG is the most important immunoglobulin in our body, mainly distributed in serum and tissue fluid, and is the main component of antibacterial, antitoxin and antiviral antibodies, as well as an important material basis for the process of organism's immunity against infection. IgG is the only immunoglobulin that can cross the placental barrier and plays an important role in fighting infection in newborns. That is why people usually refer to immunoglobulins in terms of IgG.

    Since immunoglobulins can be so crucial, what are the ways to supplement them?

    1. 1.Natural active immunity

    A person who gets a certain infectious disease and heals from it will not get it a second time. This immunity is acquired because the body automatically produces antibodies after recovering from natural infection with a pathogenic microorganism.

    1. 2.Artificialactive immunity

    By artificially infecting a person with a pathogenic microorganism of minimal virulence, such as vaccination, a person automatically acquires resistance to disease.

    1. 3.Natural passive immunity

    The infant receives immunity from the mother's body. At six months, the infant's immune system is not yet developed, but rarely gets sick because the fetus's blood circulation is connected to the mother's.

    1. 4.Artificial passive immunity

    Immunoglobulin injections or oral supplements containing high levels of immunoglobulin are used to provide the body with the relevant vaccine, thereby shortening the duration of illness and reducing the incidence of illness.